Environmental health is the branch of public health that's concerned with how our living, working and leisure environments affect our health. It's a gripping subject to study and a fascinating field to work in. Whether you're helping improve the living conditions of society's poorest, or working with a company to improve health and safety for staff and customers, your work will have a huge, life-changing and often life-saving impact.
We are the largest and foremost provider of environmental health education in the UK. Our close links with industry allow us to offer a course which is highly work-focused, with a strong emphasis on practical laboratory work and real-life case studies. Our excellent facilities include a microbiology laboratory and pestology materials.
Many of our teaching staff are chartered environmental health practitioners, and they have a wide range of specialisms and experience. Our inspiring principal lecturer Alan Page is a former principal environmental health officer at several London councils, while programme leader Michael Hewitt was a senior environmental health officer at British Airways. Under their expert guidance, our students have done research into a wide variety of areas, including listeria in food, the effects of heavy smoking, skin lightening, water pollution and the attitudes of people living in high-rise buildings towards recycling.
The course will teach you how to identify and assess health and safety risks and take measures to safeguard and improve health and safety in a variety of settings. You’ll gain in-depth understanding of all five key areas of environmental health - food safety, housing, environmental protection, occupational health and public health.
The MSc course features nine compulsory modules: four core modules, two health and safety modules, two food safety modules and a practical food inspection module, plus a module looking at professional practice and a research methods module (which includes your dissertation). There’s also the option of just studying the four core modules to gain a PG Cert, or leaving out the professional practice and research methods modules (and hence not doing a dissertation) to achieve a PG Dip.
The core modules will cover the impact of different factors on public health; human anatomy, physiology and toxicology; the spread and control of diseases; microbiology; health protection measures; food-borne illnesses; auditing premises for food safety; pollution; inequality and deprivation; housing and health; health and safety at work; and law and ethics. For the professional practice module, you’ll apply your knowledge by working on case studies in groups and finding solutions to problems.
The two health and safety modules will focus on identifying and managing health and safety risks at work, and current laws and regulations. The food safety modules will cover methods of food storage and processing; methods of ensuring food safety; techniques for inspecting and analysing food; legal requirements and food safety standards; and protecting the public from food that is not fit for human consumption. You’ll also cover the health effects of diet and nutrition.
For your research project, you’ll design and carry out your own original investigation into an area of your choosing, and present your findings in a 12,000-word thesis and a presentation to your tutor and fellow students. The research methodology module will cover experimental design, quantitative and qualitative analysis, and management, presentation and computing skills. You’ll learn to evaluate different research techniques, search for and review relevant literature, come up with a research proposal, and analyse and present data.
You will attend practical classes, including laboratory sessions, as well as lectures, workshops, seminars and IT sessions. Lectures will set out principles and topics, provide technical knowledge and identify links between theory and practice, as well as guiding your independent reading and study. Seminars provide an opportunity for discussion, research, practical exercises and examination of case studies, while in workshops you’ll learn how to use equipment and carry out practical inspections, audits and assessments. You will work on group and individual projects, case study analyses – some of which you’ll present to your fellow students - and laboratory experiments, as well as undertaking food examinations and visiting retailers and markets for the food safety modules.
As well as written and oral exams and your research project and dissertation, you will be assessed through practical food examinations, tests, presentations – including group presentations - essays, work portfolios, case study analyses, laboratory reports and other written assignments, including an article for publication. Your dissertation will consist of are search proposal, a 12,000-word thesis and a 20-minute presentation; you’ll also keep a learning log, which will form part of your assessment.
You will receive regular feedback on your work, including your assessed coursework.
UK/EU and international students are eligible to apply for this course.
If you have relevant qualifications or work experience, academic credit may be awarded towards your Middlesex University programme of study. For further information please visit our Accreditation of Prior Learning page.
We accept the equivalent of the above qualifications from a recognised overseas qualification. To find out more about the qualifications we accept from your country please visit the relevant Support in your country page.
If you are unsure about the suitability of your qualifications or would like help with your application, please contact your nearest Regional office for support.
You will not need a visa to study in the UK if you are a citizen of the European Union, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland. If you are a national of any other country you may need a visa to study in the UK. Please see our Visas and immigration page for further information.
You must have competence in English language to study with us. The most commonly accepted evidence of English language ability is IELTS 6.5 (with minimum 6.0 in all components). We also normally require Grade C GCSE or an equivalent qualification. Visit our English language requirements page for a full list of accepted tests and qualifications.
If you don't meet our minimum English language requirements, we offer an intensive Pre-sessional English course.
Entry onto this course does not require an interview, portfolio or audition.
Applications for postgraduate study should be made directly to the university. Please visit our Postgraduate application page for further information and to apply.
The work of an environmental health practitioner is incredibly wide-ranging, covering anything from dealing with outbreaks of food poisoning or TB to ensuring the health and welfare of farmed livestock. It is a rewarding, varied, challenging and satisfying career.
The range of roles open to you as a qualified environmental health practitioner is huge. As well as government agencies like the Environment Agency, Public Health England, DEFRA, the Food Standards Agency andthe Health and Safety Executive, you could work with the NHS, local authorities or housing associations, or in sectors ranging from travel to retail orwaste management. There are also opportunities in research, consultancy, education and training, and a growing number of international openings.
Traditionally our graduates have gone on to be public health practitioners with local authorities, a rewarding role in which every day is different. This role gives you the chance to work on different sites and in different settings, and draws not only on your science background but your ability to be a good communicator and listener too.
As well as in-depth knowledge of your subject, our course will provide you with many transferable skills. It will improve your research, data collection and interpretation, presentation and teamwork skills, as well as your confidence and your ability to work under your own initiative and manage your own time.
Find out about our wide range of postgraduate scholarships worth up to 50% of the tuition fee.
MSc Environmental Health
This course is offered full time or part time. The fees below refer to the 2017/18 academic year unless otherwise stated.
MSc Full-time students: £8,500
Part-time per taught credit: £57
Part-time per dissertation credit: £28
MSc Full-time students: £12,500
Part-time per taught credit: £84
Part-time per dissertation credit: £42
Find out about our flexible payment plans for UK/EU students, and how they can help you spread the cost of your course.*Course fees are subject to annual inflation so the total costs for part time study are shown here as a guide